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momofagymmie

Hi,
I'm in a pickle:confused:. I'm pretty close to asking my dd to quit gymnastics:eek:. She has her skills for the next level as I'm sure, do most of the gymnasts on the team. i know she has the skills because they were written up in the gym all summer and she had the list and was checking it off as she went as she has every year. At this time though the coach has decided to move only 2..... that is 2 out of 20 gymnasts up a level. I'm not sure that speaks well of the coaches. My daughter has gotten any number of reasons but they are all different from each coach and I don't understand them. 1. she's only been at the gym a year (don't get that at all,we moved gyms because she grew out of the old one last year) 2, they'd like to move the group up as a whole and as a whole it's not ready....3. she could score better if she stayed in her level ( can't figure that out, she was 3rd in state last year) . When I spoke to the hc he said she was very close... I don't know much about gymnastics technically, but for the most part we've been in it for fun now it's getting murky... it's not fun to have the skills and be held back. For a mom its not fun to pay for it & take this amount of time away from family and friends and see her upset. Unfortunately her high school doesn't have a team but she's athletic enough i can see her moving into any number of high school sports and doing well. It's free.. it's not as much time and it's more team oriented. I know she loves the sport and I know she has the next level skills so it's seems really unfair i just can't get a handle on how to manage this. Insight from coaches would be useful.
 

gymch34

Member
Aug 2, 2008
322
east coast
It is strange if she has the skills, but Im wondering if you are talking about moving to the next level now? I would be very hesitant to move an athlete now, but only because we are just beginning our season, and all my athletes are in the level which they belong. To move to the next level within the competitive seasson is stressful on the athletes- lots of new skills/ routines to master in a short period of time. If I do move an athlete mid-season its planned ahead of time so she can be prepared- 2 meets as a level 6 then move to 7 or whatever the case may be.

I would need to know more before I give my opinion- age & level of your daughter, how many years at current level, how many hours she trains, her fitness level, and if she has truly mastered the skills safely with good form? Does she train and compete with confidence, or are there tears when things dont go well? Does she maintain good attendance and give 110% in a workout? The area/ league you compete in also play in to consideration, as in many areas, gymnasts must score 35+ in the AA in order to be competitive.

If you are really concerned, I would set up an appt w/ the head coach to ask why, and if you approach the head coach in a respectful way, I cant see why you shouldn't get a straight answer. I really don't think you should make her quit without finding out more information.
 

Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
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There could be any number of reasons why the coaches have decided to hold them back (just out of curiosity where are you from, because in Australia now is the time that kids are moving up because its the end of the school year).

Skills are not the only thing that determine levels readiness. Are more training hours required at the next level and the coaches aren't sure if the girls will cope? Is it a different style of training is more emotional maturity required? I know in Australia readiness for the following level is also required. For example there is a big jump here between level 6 and 7, and a child who just has the level 6 skills is not likely to be ready for level 7 the following year, so many repeat level 5 so they arent spending 3 years in level 6. This could be another issue, is she just ready? Does she just have the skills or is she really ready?

The standard of the skills is important to. If you daughter has the skills but they are not yet very consistent then she isn't really ready, she must have the skills and be hitting them in training every time. Does she have the skills but have some major deductions on them which means she could compete the level but will score very, very low?

Repeating the level might not be the same as you are thinking. Some gyms consider repeating a level just doing the exact same things for the next year, but this might not be what the gym has in mind. Perhaps there is a plan to keepo the girls in this level and just test out of the following level and move up to the next one in a year anyway, perhaps the plan is to do 1/2 a season at the lower level to build them and bit and then do 1/2 a season at the higher level.

The main thing you need to be concerned about is what they are doing at training. A good gym will have the girls train up, which means they will work on the higher level skills. For top level gymnasts, they are often competing skills far below their ability. The idea here is that the kids are learning the harder skills while competing skills they have rock solid. For example you may have a level 5, she is competing level 5 and is brilliant with her level 5 skills and getting near perfect scores at a level 5 level. At the same time she already has all her level 6 skills and are working on getting them to near perfection level too in order to go into a really good level 6 season, and at the same time she is learning her level 7 skills.

This is generally the case in many gyms in Australia. level 3's are learning level 5 skills, level 4's are learning level 6 skills and so on. This isn't unfair this is a healthy gymnastics practise. Kids are given time to learn the skills and perfect them before they compete them.

If this is the case in your gym then your daughter will enjoy her year of repeating this level. She will score well but at the same time she will be learning new things every single day. But if it isnt the case and she wont be learning anything new, I would be making some serious complaints or finding a new gym.
 
M

momofagymmie

My daughter is now a level 8. This would actually be her 3rd year in that level. As you mentioned above she's worked on her L9 and up skills for over a year now. She trains @ about 25 hours a week & that's the limit at our gym unless you are elite. We were just fine with the 2nd repeat because as you say she had much more confidence and got further in her skill range. She scored 36 and above the whole year. Except for a total mess @ 1 meet:) For us the season starts now. Her first meet is on Dec. 27th if you can only imagine that! One of her coaches said this summer she had her skills well enough to compete L9. I've had some parents say the first two meets are important for the gym. Other parents say because there are 20 or more L10's there's not enough room to move the 12 L9's up and thus the L8's are stuck too. It's frustrating and you are right I should probably have another talk with the coach.
 
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bogwoppit

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Feb 26, 2007
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If my DD had done two years of L8 and had been successful (as in 36AA), if she has her L9 skills and the desire to move up, I'd be having a very long chat with the coaches.

The decision to remain in the sport is yours and your DD's, if she does not feel challenged or encouraged she may quit due to boredom. More than 20 L10's is not a reason at all, she should be given the chance if she has the skills.

Let me know how this goes.
 

gymdog

Coach
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
My daughter is now a level 8. This would actually be her 3rd year in that level. As you mentioned above she's worked on her L9 and up skills for over a year now. She trains @ about 25 hours a week & that's the limit at our gym unless you are elite. We were just fine with the 2nd repeat because as you say she had much more confidence and got further in her skill range. She scored 36 and above the whole year. Except for a total mess @ 1 meet:) For us the season starts now. Her first meet is on Dec. 27th if you can only imagine that! One of her coaches said this summer she had her skills well enough to compete L9. I've had some parents say the first two meets are important for the gym. Other parents say because there are 20 or more L10's there's not enough room to move the 12 L9's up and thus the L8's are stuck too. It's frustrating and you are right I should probably have another talk with the coach.

L8 to 9 IS a fairly big jump, but if she's already done two years of 8 and has the skills then it sounds like you are getting a weird run-around. On the other hand I know girls who did as many as four years at L8 (despite having the bare minimum to compete 9 and almost doing so several years in a row) and went on to do NCAA gymnastics. So I guess it really depend on how much you trust the coaches. It sounds like a rather large gym with multiple coaches and the feeling I'm getting is that they aren't very committal with regards to individuals. I can't exactly say whether your daughter can or should move up, but from what you're saying, it sounds like certain things will continue to be a problem regardless of whether she moves up. Are there any other gym options or is this it? Is the old gym incapable of training a L9, or do they just not produce a lot of L9s?
 

Aussie_coach

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Ok, well if she has already done 2 years as a level 8 and has all the skills and is training 25 hours a week, thats a different story because it definatly sounds like she should be doing level 9.

But parents often dont realise the ligistics of running gymnastics teams. It doesn't seem fair to hold kids back for reasons of there being no space for them in a higher team but as coaches and gym owners sometimes you have no choice. The gym needs to run in a financially viable fashion. If they dont have the coaching staff to coach that number of level 9's then they cant do it. I have heard parents complain of their kids not being moved upo to a new level because they would be the only one at that level, but what the parents dont realise is the incredible cost that would be involved in taking just one kid to competition sessions. i know this isnt the case in your example its just an example of where finances can determine what level a child gets to compete.

Having said that you do need to make a desicion based on what is best for your own child, while your childs gym needs to decide what is best for their gym. How old is she? Is she looking at a college scholarship in a few years? If so she cant really afford to do level 8 3 times.
 
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